Nottingham Is Now Robin Hood (And Less Interesting)

Published 6 years ago by , Updated August 14th, 2013 at 5:42 pm,

Hollywood is rarely original, we all know that due to continuous remakes, adaptations of books, TV shows, comics and games. However, once in a while someone surprises us with an original idea or an original take on an old idea.

Nottingham was such a project.

Last year Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe promised a unique take on the Robin Hood legend that would portray the Sheriff of Nottingham as the hero and Robin Hood as the villain. The project was delayed due to some script issues, and then it emerged that Crowe would be playing both Nottingham (the sheriff not the city) and the legendary Robin Hood.

However, now Ridley Scott has announced that the film has undergone major changes and that the film will now simply be called Robin Hood and will follow the career of the titular hero.

Haven’t we been to this well many times before?

Speaking to MTV Scott said:

“I think we are just going to call it Robin Hood. We start in almost 2 months. Robin Hood is in the army of Richard Coeur de Lion. He is a bowman in the army of Richard Coeur de Lion. “

With regards to the idea of having Crowe play Nottingham and Robin Hood Scott said:

“It was an idea so far back, way back when at the time I had this proposed to me, and I read it and thought, ‘I don’t really know what it does for it, but it’s alright.’ It is better to simply have the evolution of a character called Robin Hood, who will come out of a point in the Crusades which is the end.”

Scott goes on to say that the Sheriff will be:

“less important; the Sheriff of Nottingham is always a kind of an amusing character in most of the movies, who represents the hierarchy in the story at that point,” Scott explained. “The hierarchy and the wealthy always ruled over the under class, and fundamentally that doesn’t change, because Robin Hood is actually the person who finally – in terms of the overall classical idea of the film – will help the poor, probably taking from the rich.”

Scott plans to make France the villain of the piece and not just one man:

“It is the French. The villain is much bigger in that sense; much more important, and much more dangerous. “(In)1066 Harold II went against William the Conqueror. Harold took an arrow in his eye, and William the Conqueror took over England, and so France owned everything right through. Even to the extent of changing the architecture of the churches from Anglo-Saxon to Roman, that’s French; they changed the arches in the churches.”

With regards to Russell Crowe being on prime physical condition for the tight wearing role Scott said:

“Oh that is silly; all that stuff is bullsh-t. He is going to be totally fit. That is not a problem at all. And he’s been working on his bow and arrow for about 4 months. He sends me tapes of him hitting targets at about 45 meters. He’s pretty good!”

There you have it straight from the horses mouth.

It would appear that Scott and Crowe would like to produce a historical epic along the lines of Gladiator and Kingdom of Heaven rather than a swashbuckling adventure in the mold of the Errol Flynn or Kevin Costner films. However, what irks me about this change is that the filmmakers really had an opportunity to do something new with the Robin Hood myth, but instead they have almost fallen into predictability.

If two years ago I’d said to you that Scott was preparing a revisionist take on Robin Hood this is exactly the sort of film that you would have imagined him to make.

Over the decades there must have been almost a hundred film and television versions of Robin Hood, every generation has their own iconic take on the character and I feel that this version by Ridley Scott will take the fun out of the character and replace the adventure and excitement with po-faced earnestness. While that is not always a bad thing I feel that Scott has decided to make a film that would be easier for him to make in a genre, tone and time frame that won’t stretch his range. While most directors would see a film like this a challenge, Scott has made historical epics his stock in trade over the past decade or so. For him to make something with pace, adventure and wit would be the real challenge!

For that reason alone – I’m annoyed.

Source: MTV

TAGS: Robin hood
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  1. this is a bit lame
    this can still be a good movie
    but as you mentioned, they really had a chance to make it original and really fall into the same old story once again

    come on, it’s not that these big movie icons have money to loose? they already made their names, now is the time you can make a safe crazy bet!

  2. Yeah, wow, I was actually very interested in the original idea they had.

    Now it’s “Master & Gladiator” with a French accent.

  3. Well I’m out. I don’t even care any more. I really liked the original idea and I was behind it firmly. Now that it’s just another Robin Hood I’m not even gonna watch it. I have never enjoyed the Robin Hood stories and I was always annoyed that the thief was praised as a hero I don’t care if he is giving money to the poor he is still just a thief.

  4. Gladiator was being rewritten up to and during its filming
    to the point that they were unsure of how to end the movie.

    This film is following a similar development path so far.
    Gladiator ended up being one of the greatest epics and
    considering the players involved are the same there
    is a chance that lightning can strike twice.

  5. I agree with Robert Palmer!

  6. Steven, I can understand your concerns, you are worried that there would not be a good villain anymore. I am sure Scott will provide a number of good and interesting villains to the cast.

  7. If its anywhere near as excellent as Kingdom of heaven I would be happy.

  8. I thought the idea of Robin Hood as a villain was a good idea. Maybe finally some people will realize that robbing anyone, rich or poor, is not a good thing. Especially since you can only effectively rob people if they believe you are willing to use force if they resist. Threats alone do not work, so that must mean Robin Hood and his gang must have killed many people in their acts of crime.

    If they would have stuck with the original idea but kept it more realistic where many people would resist and end up being slaughtered by Robin Hood in order to steal their money or jewels, it could easily make him recognized as the villain of the film regardless of preconceived ideas of Robin Hood. Then he can bring up the rationalization of his acts of crime by saying he wants to help the poor, but ultimately the price for that is too high.

    Not to mention it could be brought up that some of the “rich” people he robs might have been poor people who have become rich, or even better, a poor person Robin Hood once helped to become wealthy.

    Either way, that would have been pretty unique I think.

  9. I didn’t really like Gladiator, and it wasn’t anywhere close to being a realistic representation of the times it was supposed to represent. The tv series Rome did a much better job in my opinion.

    But I’m with Daniel F in that I’ve never liked the concept of a criminal being praised as a hero. What next, a child molester hero? “Those children were asking for it!”

  10. Well to be honest I realize why most people are disgruntled at the change in storyline but I myself find it intriguing to see another stab at a failed film adaptation of the myth… I loved the Errol Flynn Robin Hood, it was fun but it lacked depth, Costner’s lacked everything a good movie needs and the recent TV series lacks anything like a good approach. I think Sir Scott and Russel Crowe will bring real depth to the character by flushing out all the theatrics (Flynn) or needless, soppy romanticism (Costner).

    On the issue of Robin having to kill people, yeah don’t doubt it and that’s precisely what may help to contribute to the character. Here is a guy with good intentions overall but with questionable means. I feel Sir Scott might just be the first director to give us an accurate picture of those times (albeit through the eyes of a fictional character such as Robin Hood). Those were times when there were no nations, just contested kingdoms, dukedoms and fiefdoms all with fuzzy overlapping borders and all vying for power while the people on the ground suffered terrible poverty and injustices. It was a time when war, either from within a kingdom or from without, was only a whisper away. Put into this backdrop the character of Robin Hood, a Yeoman in the army of Richard Coeur de Lion, returning from the Crusades. Here we have a veteran soldier (possibly of noble birth, but it would make more sense, given he’s a bowman, that he’s not) who decides to do what he can for the impoverished masses. The thing is, given that all he knows is soldiery, the only way he can see to do this is through fighting, looting and raiding. And of course anything he loots from the nobility must be distributed among the poor after all his is a noble mission isn’t it? He’s not fighting for his won personal gain… but who does he fight? Are the well-to-do upper classes to blame, or is it a far deeper problem, one much more ingrained in society one which a lowly bandit can never really hope to suppress? I see it as a story of a failed anti-hero, the man who would be liberator…

    That all being said historical veracity is not going to be anyone’s main concern (as opposed to grounding the story in a realistic historic background) because Robin Hood did not actually exist (he’s probably based on a compendium of real bandits with a truckload of exaggeration and fanciful elaboration thrown in for good measure).

    Regardless of the story I can’t wait to SEE this film. Ridley’s films are incredible visual feasts and this promises to be no exception…

    Oh and in response to Ken J, be wary of drawing in black and white. Technically Batman is a criminal regarded as a hero, and how any traitors and terrorists have come to be known as patriots and heroes? Robin Hood would no doubt have been regarded as a criminal by those he robbed, but what of those whom he helped? If he was real he wouldn’t be a hero. Real life doesn’t give us heroes… It just gives us people, all flawed in some way like us all, who occasionally aspire to and achieve heroic ideals… the rest fail to do either and become regarded as villains.

  11. Once again, Ridley Scott has taken a brilliant actor and is turning the movie “Robin Hood” or whatever, into something ridiculous, just as “A Good Year” and “Body of Lies”. Russell, go back to Ron Howard and be my hero again!!

  12. I actually think Ridley is a great director and does good work. He simply has the wrong idea on this project./

  13. Keith, does Batman kill innocent civilians to fight crime? I don’t see how you can make that comparison. I know our current media and politicians (who are rich of course) try to make it seem like rich people are “evil” and should feel guilty that people are not as rich as they are. So they brainwash the public into thinking that “Robin Hood” (aka the federal government) has to swoop in and steal their money that they worked hard to earn and distribute it to the poor (well, every rich person except the very senators that pass these laws of course…)

    But unfortunately in these times, people won’t just give in like sheep, people who are wealthy would fight to keep their money and would probably be senselessly slaughtered by Robin Hood and his gang. Their only crime in the majority of the cases would be that they were more successful than others. Even if these individuals might have given money to the poor or have tried to help, all Hood and his gang of theives would see is the fact that they are still well off.

    If you can still call this guy a “hero” by rationalizing to yourself that other characters considered heros are also technically considered criminals (ignoring the type of crime that makes them criminals), then fine, we all know how romanticized this whole Robin Hood concept can be to some people,I’m just not one of these people. If he intentionally kills innocent people, regardless of what crime he considers these people to be guilty of, he’s a murderer, not just a thief. I would be happy with the movie if this was the case if he is killed in the end without glorification.

  14. @Ken J

    Well let’s keep in mind that the wealthy of today (who built their own fortunes) are not exactly equivalent to the inherited wealthy of hundreds of years ago. I’m sure they DID take awful advantage of those who lived under their rule.


  15. But what happens after the poor are divvied out all the gold? Don’t they then become the rich? Or is it all spread out enough to ensure everyone stays poor.

  16. I’m with you 100% Ken J.

  17. LOL @ Aaron It’ll be funny if Robin Hood keeps giving the gold tot he poor until one of them saves up enough (without spending any) to where he’s considered rich, so Robin Hood kills him too.

    “Hey, you’re poor, here’s a gold piece.”
    *poor person crosses the threshhold of poor and rich*
    “Oh, now you’re rich.”
    *kills him*


  18. The best Robin Hood wore “Tights”. :P

  19. People, people. it’s Robin Hood – it’s a legend… Robin robs from the rich Normans (those who have mistreated the Saxons, usually commoners) and he gives it to those who had it taken away. Robin is the good guy – the Sheriff, Sir Guy, Prince John or whomever they have are the bad guys. I hope I can get away from the daily grind for a couple of hours and enjoy a good adventure movie where the good guys win… I don’t read anything else into it – at all.

  20. It’s just a very childish and idealistic point of view that made the Robin Hood story so popular. Everyone wants to be lazy and have money magically handed to them by someone who takes from the “rich.” It’s not at all a realistic ideal, like socialism, it will never really work, but idiots everywhere fall for the romanticized picture of it, everyone is equal, ooohhh.

    This film looks like it’s trying to be more realistic. The old RH movies were meant to be unrealistic, corny, and a bit campy, so we accepted it, but try to put the same old storyline into a more realistic movie and you’ll start to see the flaws of it.

  21. What the heck?? The stupid spam filter always catches my posts. I am not advertising anything!!

  22. @Ken J

    I don’t know why some of your posts are being flagged, but rest assured within a few hours I do find them and publish them when that happens.

    And BTW, regarding this:

    “Hey, you’re poor, here’s a gold piece.”
    *poor person crosses the threshhold of poor and rich*
    “Oh, now you’re rich.”
    *kills him*

    Sounds like a variation on the current administration’s point of view. :-P


  23. LOL, exactly, well, hopefully they will not kill the rich, I guess kill them with taxes…